|Theo Walcott scored two on his return to the starting line-up|
Nacho Monreal looked like the right choice at the start of the game after looking in better form than the fatigued Kieran Gibbs lately. However, on reflection it was probably the wrong choice. Monreal has usually been able deputy for Gibbs, but his defensive displays are not on par with that of Gibbs. Most of the City attacks came down the left and the Spanish fullback just couldn't deal with everything thrown at him. It had looked a perfect line-up and I was also fully behind the decision to play Flamini. I thought he would've been able to get in the City players faces and disrupt their flow on the ball. However what we lacked was control in midfield and the ability to spray the ball around the pitch quickly. A player that would've been able to do that was Arteta, despite his poor form. Olivier Giroud got in some good positions to score chances and also create them but was wasteful in front of goal. I like Giroud but it further proved that we need to delve into the transfer market in January. Looking at the likes of Aguero today, we need someone like him to add a fear factor in terms of goals.
Nicklas Bendtner came on for Giroud and did a good job in my opinion, he looked more of a threat than Giroud did and even had a goal wrongly disallowed. Wrong decisions were a factor of the game and there were two goals ruled out for offside whilst there also could've been a penalty for a handball on Zabaleta. Those decisions went against us but didn't necessarily cost us the game, our ability to keep the ball did.
The most encouraging sign from the game was that of Theo Walcott. It was his first start for over three months since the game against Marseille. He was an instant threat and caused all sorts of problems in behind the City defence. His first goal was a well controlled strike which skimmed off of Demicheles' head before finding the net. His second was an absolute beauty though. Bending the ball over Pantilimon for his third of the season. It was a great sight to see him back, he stood out massively ahead of everyone else in the side. Per Mertesacker was to score our other goal after a brilliant delivery from Sagna. That was a mere consolation goal and we were too little too late. Not many teams go to the Etihad and score 3 goals, a sign that we weren't willing to give up despite the amount of times we were under pressure.
Next up is Chelsea where myself and the rest of the supporters will be accepting nothing but a win following our result against Man City today. It's at home where we have been better than away recently. If Chelsea win then they'll go top, it will be a massive game that we just can't afford to lose. We desperately need to improve on this afternoons performance, changes will probably be made again and hopefully they'll be for the better this time around.
The teams lineups:
Manchester City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demicheles, Clichy, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri(90), Silva(71), Aguero(49), Negredo.
Subs: Hart, Lescott, Kolarov, Garcia(90), Milner(71), Navas(49), Dzeko.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny(41), Monreal, Flamini(72), Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Ozil, Giroud(76).
Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen(41), Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla, Gnabry(72), Bendtner(76).
My man of the match: Theo Walcott.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.